By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A cast of characters greeted children as they walked into the auditorium of the Edgecombe County Administrative Building Wednesday afternoon … Clowns, pirates, teddy bears and the Professor from “Gilligan’s Island.”
The characters were employees with the Department of Social Services, who partnered with Trinity Baptist Church to bring the “Fairy’s Tale Book Fair” to Edgecombe County children.
The Department of Social Services and Trinity Baptist Church partnered to bring a “Fairy’s Tale Book Fair” to Edgecombe County children.
“I liked the characters. I loved that they dressed up,” said Kelly Hunter, as her 6-year-old daughter, Charley Hunter, jumped around in the bounce house just outside the auditorium.
Adding to the carnival atmosphere at the fair were balloons, face painting and temporary glitter tattoos, a popcorn machine and hot dogs.
“To see the smiles and the laughter – this has just been a wonderful event and our staff have had a great time doing this,” said DSS Director Marva Scott. Approximately 300 children attended the fair and chose books to take home with them.
“Our purpose was to get books in the hands of children that might not have an opportunity otherwise,” said Leigh Ann Webb of Trinity Baptist. “Some of the books came from the Down East Partnership for Children and the rest came from church members.”
Tilda Marshall, a fair coordinator with DSS, said the book fair “helps them get back into that routine of reading and getting ready to go back to school.”
“Reading is exploring; it’s another way of learning,” she said.
Darion Revis, 11, took home “The Berenstain Bears and the Blame Game.”
“I like reading fantasy,” said Revis, a student at Red Oak Middle School. “It gives you more knowledge than before.”
Revis’ mother, Nicole Revis, said summer reading is important because it “helps keep the comprehension going and the fluency going.” She said the fair also gave her kids a chance to be “sociable with other kids their age.”
“It gives them something to do in the summer. I think it’s very nice,” said Nicole Revis.
Getting a rainbow tattoo on her arm was 8-year-old Jazmine Summerlin’s favorite part of the fair, but she looked forward to picking out a book, too. She said she likes reading “everything.”
“It’s fun!” said Summerlin.
“It gives them something to look forward to – taking a book home to read in the evening and to share with their friends and their camp buddies,” said Scott.
Scott said the fair was so successful that she would like to make it an annual event.
The fair doubled as a community outreach event to help DSS recruit foster and adoptive parents.